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Copyright, 1897 
By John L. Stoddard 

Entered at Stationers' Hall, London 
all rights reserved 

THE most important dramas of the coming century will 
probably be enacted on the shores of the Pacific. 
Neither the European coast, nor yet our own, can 
now materially change; but over the mightiest ocean on our 
globe new constellations have arisen. Another Oriental 
horoscope must now be cast. Dormant so long, the East is 
re-awakening from her sleep of ages. Russia, the grim Colos- 
sus of the North,— facing, Janus-like, both east and west, — is 
making there a depot for her 
navy. Meantime she pushes 
on by day and by night her 
trans-Siberian railway, whose 
bars of steel will soon unite 
the Baltic and Pacific and revo- 
lutionize the commerce of the /- 
world. In the Northern Pacific, 
England and France have in- 
terests which are steadily in- 
creasing. Southward, Australia, 
and New Zealand too, must be 
considered carefully in any forecast of the future. Last, but 
not least, our own Pacific coast, with its magnificent shore- 
front of California and Alaska, and the boundless possibilities 
of Puget Sound, will fifty years hence have enormous interests 



at stake. Meanwhile, Japan, central to all these various lands, 
keen, bold, and active, both in war and peace, has suddenly 
surpassed all records in her wonderful development, and even 
now can almost keep step with the great Western Powers. 

In 1892, the writer visited the Mikado's empire, and on 
his return spoke enthusiastically of its people. But what he 
said of China was precisely the reverse. On this account, 
some thought that he exaggerated the virtues of the one and 
the vices of the other. But the events of 1895 verified his 
words. China has sunk still lower in the estimation of man- 
kind, while Japan has risen far above the expectations of 
her warmest friends. In fact, Japan, in miany ways, is now 
the most interesting country in the world. She is the pio- 
neer of progress in the Orient. Consider her amazing growth 


in manufactures. By these she may ere long control the 
commerce of the entire East. Look at her admirable schools 
and universities. They can be favorably compared with not 
a few in Europe. Think of her government, which in less 



than twenty-five years has achieved what it took Europe cen- 
turies to accompHsh, — to rid herself of feudahsm and become 
a constitutional monarchy. Regard her army, which accom- 
plished marvels in the recent war; and her navy, which 
elicited the admira- 
tion of the world. 

In all these re- 
spects we find a na- 
tional transforma- 
tion, which in rapid- 
ity at least has had 
no parallel in his- 
tory. It is, then, 
this extraordinary 
land, which has a 
long and brilliant 
past, and is appar- 
ently to have a still 
more brilliant future, 
that we are now to 
explore still farther. 

However novel ""■ 

and attractive the the edwin booth of japan. 

cities of the Mikado's empire may be, it is from traveling 
through the country of Japan that one derives the greatest 
pleasure and instruction. For it is not what Japan has bor- 
rowed from the western world that most delights the foreign 
tourist. On the contrary, the more he sees of their artistic, 
happy, natural life, away from foreign contact, the better he 
likes it. 

It was on a beautiful October morning, that, leaving 
cities and railways for a time behind us, we began our jour- 
ney through a few of the Mikado's provinces. Seating our- 
selves in jinrikishas, we dashed across a little bridge and up 


a mountain gorge which led to Miyanoshita. There are few- 
things more thoroughly delightful than traveling through a 
mountainous country in a carriage or on horseback. On 
a former trip I had thought that nothing could approach 
in pleasure this mode of traveling in Norway. But here 
it proved fully as enjoyable. It is true, the grandeur of 
Norwegian scenery is not met with in Japan; but, on the 
other hand, the charming 

novelty of 

thing ^'^'^'"vi^BI^^HBB^^'^^^^'"* 

one sees 


makes such 

excursions peerless in the traveler's memory. 

At first, our road was an embowered lane winding along 
a mountain-side, green to the summit with luxuriant foliage. 
There was no parapet along the edge, as on the mountain 
roads of Switzerland; but, as a reassuring compensation, we 
had no horses here to back or shy or roll us down the 
precipices. The steeds that drew us up the narrow path were 
copper-colored athletes, driven tandem, and without need of 
rein or whip. On, on they went with ceaseless energy, their 


splendid mus- 
cles working 
like machinery. 
Insensible to 
fatigue, they 
laughed and 
talked inces- 
santly, asking 
only one favor 
of their drivers, 
— that of being 
allowed to re- 
duce their cloth- 


ing to the scantiest limits. Below us, as we rode along, was 
an impetuous stream, which lured from time to time adven- 
turous waterfalls to join its course. We halted to admire 
one of these at our leisure. Its special charm was not its 
height, though it descends several hundred feet: It was the 

wealth of col- 
ored foliage 
that made for 
it a frame of 
green and gold. 
A little to the 
left, an open- 
ing in the trees 
revealed a tiny 
shrine, and in 
the foreground 
stood an aged 
priest, who had 
stopped to gaze 
in wonder at 
sn rh s t r a n ""e 

A BIT OF JAPAN. O U V„ 11 D U 1 d 11 v^ »- 


intru ders. 
What pictures 
thus disclose 
themselves at 
every turn 
this marvelous 
country ! Any- 
where else you 
would pro- 
nounce them 
stage effects — 
the cataracts 
which resem- 
ble tangled 

KUKAL SCENERY IN JAPAN. gj^^'^^g ^f g-|J^_ 

en floss; the miniature pagodas interspersed among the trees; 
and, brightening all with life and color, the Japanese women 
with their bril- 
liant sashes, 
as if the van- 
ished nymphs 
and dryads 
of the place 
had now as- 
sumed mate- 
rial shapes, 
intending to 
be worshiped 
even by the 

Yet this is 
what one sees 




continually in Japan. What would in other lands seem arti- 
ficial, is here only natural. Accordingly, the charm of Jap- 
anese scenery is enhanced by the surroundings given it by 
man. Picturesque figures, clad in robes as multicolored as 
the trees themselves ; bridges, temples, and pagodas, often 
as brilliant as the autumnal leaves around them — these make 


the landscapes irresistibly 
attractive, as if both man 

and Nature had agreed to wear at the same time their holi- 
day attire. One feels that he is traveling through a land 
where Nature is adored, where animals are kindly treated, 
and where such pleasing and poetic myths as Ave associate 
only with ancient Greece and Rome are still believed by 



1 -? 


















many faithful souls, and make 
each forest the abode of rural 
deities and every mountain 
rivulet a place of prayer. 

As we moved farther up 
the valley, we found at every 
turn some new source of en- 
joyment; first, in the vivid 
foliage, which made the 
mountains seem like huge 
bouquets of ferns; then, in 
the silvery stream whose 
voice would shout a wel- 
come to us as it hurried on; 
and lastly, in the little Jap- 
anese inns, along whose 
carved-wood balconies were hung red paper lanterns, that 
glowed at night like monster rubies, and gave to the whole 
scene that 
charmingly un- 
real, or theatri- 
cal effect, so 
characteristic of 

Seeing some 
buildings on 

the opposite 
bank, we asked : 
" How do you 
cross here from 
shore to shore? 
Boats surely are 
not possible; 
nor are there 




any bridges, unless — but certainly those tiny structures 
yonder, stretched like a spider's \\'eb across the flood, can- 
not be bridges! " Yet closer scrutiny re\-ealed the fact that 
they are really used as a means of transportation. Long 
poles of bamboo, bound about with reeds, and supported in 
the centre by a rough-hewn tripod, — such are the structures 
often spanning mountain-torrents in Japan! If swept away, 


they can easily be replaced; and, A\hile they last, the peasants 
cross them fearlessly. 

''But how about wagons, carriages, and horses?" we 
inquired, only to be again reminded, with a laugh, that no 
provision need be made for them, for carriage-roads do not 
yet exist in these mountain regions, and horses are almost 
as rare as centaurs. In fact, one of the first things to impress 
us in these rural districts was the absence of animals. We 
sa^v no oxen, sheep, or donkeys, and only in rare instances a 
pony. Japanese farmers hardly know what meat, milk, and 



butter are, and when one recollects that they have never 
eaten bread, and have no word for it in their language, one 
naturally asks, ''On what do they live?" Through our in- 
terpreter, we questioned a young laborer who was returning 
homeward from the fields in his everyday working-suit of 
clothes. He was well-formed and looked well-nourished, like 
most of his fellows, yet he assured us that only fish, rice, and 
vegetables formed his diet. When, therefore, one considers 
how much hard work the Japanese perform, and thinks of all 


the thousands here, who, in lieu of horses, haul heavy loads 
of wood and stone, it cannot be denied that they derive from 
their food quite as much strength as we do from ours. It is 
true, doctors declare that Japanese food, while good for 
peasants working in the open air, is bad for those who lead 
a sedentary life. But is anything good for those who lead 
a sedentary life? 

"What," we inquired somewhat impatiently, ''is the 
meaning of this dearth of animal life, — here, where a million 
acres on these verdant hills would give the best of pasturage 




for cattle ? ' ' The ex- 
planation given us 
was a religious one; 
for the Buddhist faith 
declares that to de- 
stroy any living crea- 
ture is a sin. This 
doctrine, through 
successive centuries, 
has had a great effect 
upon the people. It 
practically forbids 
them to eat meat. If 
the United States, 
therefore, should 
ever becomie Buddhistic, a colossal industry of the West would 
disappear. No doubt, in time, stock-farms will be established 
in Japan, as foreigners create a large demand for beef, 
butter, milk, and cream ; but agricultural customs are always 

slow to change. 
One might have 
supposed that 
c a t c h i n q; fish 
would also have 
been prohibited 
by Buddhism, 
since that in- 
volves the sacri- 
fice of life. But, 
as the waters 
around the Jap- 
anese islands 
fairly s ^v a r m 
with them, to 




have forbidden the people fish would have removed their 
staple article of diet, and caused a positive hatred for the 
new religion. It is probable, therefore, that the Buddhist 
priests knew (just as well as the Japanese fishermen) where 
to draw the line. 

One day, as we were rolling through the country in jin- 
rikishas, we saw approaching us an extraordinary apparition. 


'' What is it," we exclaimed, " a winged 
Mercury, or a Coney Island bather rushing to the beach?" 

''That is the letter-carrier," was the reply; ''and the 
small waterproof paper bag at the end of his bamboo pole 
contains the mail." 

In fact, where villages are not reached by a railroad, the 
old system of swift couriers still prevails. Let us not laugh, 
however, at Japan's postal-service. It was only started in 




1 87 1 ; but it is already 

extended over the entire 

country, \\ith more than 

five thousand post-offices 

and postal savings-banks. 

In 1 88 I, after only ten 

years' growth, it carried 

ninety-five million letters 

and postal-cards, and its 

rate of postage is the 

cheapest in the world. A 

country postman, it is 

true, is rather oddly 

dressed. One thinks, at 

first, perhaps, that he is 

wearing a gaily-colored 

jersey. Not at all — his only garment is a cloth about the 

waist, with a kerchief around his head to keep the perspir- 
ation out of his eyes, and he has straw sandals on his feet. 

He is tattooed. It seems impossible, at a first glance, that 

such elaborate decoration is produced by sepia and vermilion 

alone, carefully 
pricked in with 
needles; never- 
theless it is a 
fact. These bril- 
1 i a n t hues are 
proof against the 
greatest amount 
of washing. A 
tattooed man 
could no more 
change his colors 
than could an 

A POST-OFFICE. i- ^ "• 



Ethiopian his skin or a leopard his spots. In feudal times 
this style of ornamentation was resorted to by the Japanese 
for the same reason that their hideous masks were worn in 

battle, — in or- 
der to inspire 
fear. Even now, 
although the 
custom is pro- 
hibited, some 
wonderful speci- 
mens of tattoo- 
ing can be seen ; 
and from actual 
observation we 
were forced to 
believe the state- 
ment that artists 
in that line are 
able to prick into 
the skin a fairly 
faithful likeness of the man himself, or perchance of a friend. 
Such workmen now complain that they have little oppor- 
tunity to practice their profession. Some patronage, however, 
still comes to them from youthful foreigners. Two sons of 
the Prince of Wales, for example, as well as Prince George of 
Greece, have on their bodies specimens of this ornamenta- 
tion ; and if some travelers whom we met here could be 
induced to raise their sleeves they would display to their 
astonished friends one or two very pretty Japanese views, — 
*' colored," — though not 'dissolving." 

One of the first and most delightful halting-places in our 
trip across Japan was the hotel at Miyanoshita. It is as 
dainty as a lacquered box, with floors, chairs, and balus- 
trades as neat as wax and beautifully polished. The rooms 




are furnished simply, but in European style; the food is 
special]}- })rcpared for foreigners; and in cold weather the 
corridors can be enclosed in glass. What wonder, then, that 
tourists resort to Miyanoshita? For, in addition to its good 
hotel, it has the best of mountain air and delightful hot baths 
from a natural spring, and is a starting-point for many nota- 
ble excursions. On most of these, ho\\'evxM', jinrikishas can- 
not be used. 

From this point on, the beaten roads are left, and only 
narrow paths ascend the hills. Hence, on the morning after 
our arrival, we found ourselves confronted by the most novel 
style of conveyance we had thus far seen. " What under 
heaven is this?" I cried, as I caught sight of it. " Must I get 
into this thing, and haven't you any blankets for these horses?" 

My friend sat down upon a rock and vowed he would not 
go. '' Gi\'e me 
a jinrikisha,' ' he 
moaned ; "I'd 
rather be once 
more a baby- 
jumper in my 
little carriage 
than a mere 
stone in a sling, 
as you will be 
in that ! ' ' He 
finally compro- 
mised on an arm- 
chair, hung on 
bamboo poles 
and carried by ^ ''^^°- 

four men ; but I resolved to give this vehicle a thorough trial. 
So crawling in, like a dog into its basket, I crossed my legs 
after the fashion of a Turk who had fallen over backward, 




and told my well-groomed steeds to go ahead. The unique 
and novel instrument of torture to which I thus subjected 
myself is called a ''kago." It is a shallow basket, suspend- 
ed from a bamboo pole, on 

which it swings irregularly 
like an erratic pendulum. 
Two men take this upon 
their shoulders, while a third 
follows as a sub- 
stitute; for 

they change 
places usually 
every fifteen minutes. 
Mine changed every five. 
The man who invented 
the iron cage, within 
which the unhappy pris- 
oner could neither stand 
up nor lie down, must 
have heard of a Japanese '■ ^ rain-coat. 2. among the flowers. 3. a kago. 

kago. The basket is too near the pole to let the occupant 
sit erect, and much too short for him to extend his feet 
without giving the bearer in front a violent prod in the small 
of the back. After many frantic experiments, I found that 



the easiest fashion of kago-riding was to He upon nn' side, my 
head lolHng about in one direction, and my feet in the other. 
Even then, the lower half of my body kept falling asleep, and 
I was frequently obliged to get out and walk, to a\'oid curv- 
ature of the spine. Yet, incredible though it seems, Japanese 


women often travel by these kagos. They certainly looked a 
thousand times more comfortable than I felt; but then, the 
Japanese are short, and, moreover, are used to bending up 
their limbs like knife-blades when they seat themselves. 

On a broad road, -one experiences no sense of danger in 
these swinging cars; but, once in a while, when I was being 



carried thus along a path two feet in width, — a mountain graz- 
ing my right elbow, and a ravine one thousand feet in depth 
just under my left shoulder-blade, I used to wonder just what 
would happen if one of these men should stumble; or if, 
becoming weary of their load, they should suddenly shoot 
me outward into space like a stone from a catapult, I pru- 
dently kept on good terms with my kago-men, and never 


refused them when they asked the privilege of halting to 
take a smoke. 

Almost everything in Japan is small ; nor is a Japanese 
pipe an exception to the rule. It is about as large as a lead- 
pencil with a child's thimble at the end. Three whiffs are 
all that any man can take from them, and the Avad of tobacco 
thus consumed is just about the size of a two-grain quinine 
pill. Hence, the long inhalations of our smokers, the droop- 
ing backward of the head, the languid lifting of the eyes to 
watch the rings of perfumed smoke float lazily away, — all 





these arc 11 n - 

k n own to the 

Japanese. W^ith 

them , — three 

httle puffs, and 

all is over. This 

seems, however, 

to satisfy them 

completely, and 

with the air of 

o n e \\' ho ha s 

dined well, they 

knock the ashes 

from the tiny 

thimbles, and 

resume their march. After about four hours of this kaeo- 

riding we reached the summit of a mountain pass, called 

Otemetoge. From this point a glorious vista met our gaze. 

B c hind us, i n 
the distance, lay 
Aliyanoshita and 
its neighboring 
villages, resem- 
bling a g r o u p 
of islands in an 
ocean of green 
foliage. Far 
off upon the 
heights a line of 
sunlit buildings 
gleamed 1 i k' e 
whitccaps on a 
brifrht-Ljreen sea. 

o o 




most at our feet, some objects glittering in the noonday light 
attracted our attention ; and these, examined through a field- 
glass, proved to be a foaming mountain stream and silvery 
cascade. At first we hardly dared to look on the other side 


of the pass, lest we should experience disappointment. But 
fortune favored us. The sky was clear; and gazing eagerly 
toward the west, we saw, directly opposite our point of 
observation, the grand old sacred mountain of Japan, — the 
world-renowned Fuji-yama. 

It made me fairly catch my breath to look for the first 
time upon this noble peak, whose form had been portrayed on 
almost every specimen of Japanese art that I had seen from 
childhood. I felt as if I had been ushered into the presence 
of some mighty sovereign, whose name and deeds and splen- 
did court had from my earliest years called forth my admira- 
tion. A score of interesting traits render a study of this 
mountain valuable. It is, in the first place, a volcano, — the 
tallest of those fiery furnaces whose devastations cast a lurid 
light along the path of Japanese history. Its last eruption 
was in 1707, when all the plain around its base was buried 


deep with cinders, and ashes fell fifty miles away. Yet even 
now, although no wreath of smoke surrounds its brow, it 
sends forth steam through several apertures, much as a cap- 
tive serpent hisses though its fangs are drawn. The little 
spur upon its southern slope is due to the last eruption. 
Before that, both of its curving sides were perfectly sym- 

The ascent of Fuji involves a long, hard climb for weary 
miles through lava-ashes, sometimes ankle-deep. The vio- 
lence of the wind on certain portions of the mountain is 
proverbial, and by some travelers has been described as so 
appalling that they were fearful lest some furious blast might 
blow them into space and scatter their remains over a dozen 


One cannot wonder that the Japanese have always deemed 
this mountain sacred. A perfect, silver-crested pyramid, over 
twelve thousand feet in height, rising in one majestic sweep 
from sea to sky; changing its color constantly from dawn to 




dusk, like some 
officiating priest, 
a mediator be- 
tween God and 
man, assum- 
ing consecrated 
robes of purple, 
orange, violet, 
green, and gold, 
— how could 
man help re- 
garding it as a glorious shrine inhabited by Deity itself? To 

its mighty base, as to some incense-burning altar, more than 

ten thousand 

reverent pilgrims 

annually come 

to make the ar- 

duous ascent; 

and to relieve 

their hardships, 

'^ rest- houses 

have been built 

at intervals along 

the path, while, 

even on the sum- 

mit, the three 

entrances to the 

volcano's crater, 

which is four 

hundred feet 

deep, are marked 

by sacred gate- 
ways. Most of 

these pilgrims 





wear upon their shoul- 
ders the garments al- 
n^ost universally worn 
in stormy weather by 
the Japanese peasants, 
— a kind of water- 
proof, made of straw 
or grass, to shed the 
rain and snow. These 
vary from a finely- 
plaited matting to 
the cheaper, rougher 
grades, which make 
the wearer's back look- 
like the roof of a 
thatched cottage. Up- 
on their heads are hats of spUt bamboo or straw, that bear 
a comical resemblance to enormous mushrooms, and serve as 
sunshades or 
umbrellas, ac- 
cording to the 
condition of 
the ^v e a t h e r . 
We met such 
pilgrims every- 
where through- 
out Japan. At 
least a hundred 
thousand peo- 
ple thus be- 
come, in sum- 
mer-time, relig- 
ious tramps, 
and make their ^^^ ,,^^^,,, ^^^^^ 




way to sacred islands, holy mountain-tops, and shrines whose 
names would fill a lengthy catalogue. 

Many of these itinerant worshipers solicit alms to help 
them on their way ; but there are also associations of these 
pilgrims, whose members pay one cent a month into a com- 
mon treasury. From 
such a tax as that, how- 
ever, the treasury never 





becomes congested, and hence the number of those who travel 
is necessarily limited. When, therefore, the pilgrim season 
opens, a certain number of the wanderers, chosen by lot, 
visit the shrines and represent those vvdiose circumstances 
compel them to remain at home. These pilgrimages, it is 
said, are on the wane, but they are still popular. Only five 





years ago, at the festival of one famous shrine, twenty-one 
thousand people alighted in two days at a country railway 
station where the daily average is three hundred and fifty; 
and to another sacred shrine about two hundred and fifty 
thousand pilgrims annually come. 

Another charming excursion in Japan led us across the 
''Ten-province pass" to Atami on the southern coast. Of 
course it had to be made in chairs or kagos ; but such slight 


hardships sink to insignificance when one recalls delightful 
days spent in enjoying lovely scenery, inhaling pure, invig- 
orating air, and riding over mountain-paths on which the 
sunlight, filtering through the trees, traced tremulous mosaics 
of alternate light and shade. 

Occasionally on this journey we came upon the sculp- 
tured effigy of some protecting deity. We were especially 
impressed by one that was colossal in dimensions, and had 
been carved laboriously from the natural cliff eleven hundred 
years before. It represents the Buddhist god, Jizo, who is 



the especial guardian of travelers and little children. Around 
the base of this extraordinary figure were heaps of pebbles 
which had been placed there, one by one, by wayfarers for 
centuries. This custom originated in one of the most singu- 
lar myths which religion has ever produced, and is a striking 
proof of the fondness of the Japanese for children. Upon 
the banks of the river, in the lower world, is said to live a 
demon who catches little children as they try to cross, and 


makes them work for him at his eternal task of piling stones 
upon the shore. Every pebble laid at the statue's feet is 
thought to lighten the burden of some little one below! 
Smilingly yielding to the influence of this pathetic super- 
stition, we ourselves left some pebbles, and then moved 
onward down the mountain side, in the same path pursued by 
all the thousands who had here preceded us, like little boats 
upon the stream of Time. 

Presently a sudden turn revealed to us Hakone Lake, — a 
lovely sheet of water surrounded by densely wooded hills. 



This is a sum- 
mer resort that 
rivals even Mi- 
yanoshita in 
popularity. The 
air is delight- 
fully invigorat- 
ing here, twen- 
ty-four hundred 
feet above the 
sea, and in the 
hot season, not 


only are all the 
Japanese tea-houses filled with guests, but families from Tokio 
and Yokohama rent all the available cottages around the lake. 
To some extent, indeed, this region has imperial patronage, 
for, on a pretty hill which overlooks the water, is a palace 
built for the Mikado. It must be said, however, that he has 
never occupied 
it, since he 
rarely leaves 
his residence 
in Tokio, but 
we were told 
that the Crov/n 
Prince, a lad of 
fourteen, had 
been here sev- 
eral times. In 
almost every 
other country 
in the world 
the public is 
now permitted 




to enter the abodes of royalty wlicn tlieir distinq;iiisliecl occu- 
pants are absent; but not so here. These palace doors are 
closed inexorably to all travelers. We were not allowed even 
to step within the grounds. 

At length, descending to the level of the sea, our faithful 
bearers brought us to Ataini — a pretty town, famous for the 
manufacture of that Japanese paper which seemed to me one 
of the m.ost astonishing products of the country. It is so fine 


and soft that it is used for handkerchiefs and napkins, and 
takes the place of lint in surgery; yet is so firm that it is 
manufactured into lantern screens, brooms, air-cushions, and 
umbrellas. Torn into strips, it also takes the place of string, 
while all the inner walls of Japanese houses consist of screens 
of paper, divided into squares, like panes of glass. 

As we were one day w^alking through Atami, a sudden 
outburst of steam, on the other side of a fence, came vcr}- 
near stampeding our entire party. When we recovered suffi- 
cient breath to ask the cause of the explosion, we learned that 





it was occasioned by a small geyser, which 
has a species of convulsion every four 
hours, and each time pours out sulphur- 
ous vapor for a space of fifteen minutes. 
It would appear that the people of Atami 
are living on the lid of a volcanic tea-kettle, 
but evidently they have no fear. They have 
enclosed the geyser with a fence like a wild 
animal in a cage, and close beside it is a 
sanitarium, where patients with diseases of 
the throat and lungs inhale the steam. It 
may be an excellent place for sufferers from 
pulmonary troubles, but we concluded that 
nervous occupants of this retreat must feel 
like the traditional darky on the safety-valve 
of a Mississippi steamboat. 
The old-style doctors of Japan are still in vogue in certain 
rural districts, though they are being rapidly superseded by 
the young practitioners who have received a medical education 
in Europe or America. With the old Japanese physicians a 
favorite mode of cure was sticking a long needle into the part 
of the body 
supposed to be 
diseased. An- 
other universal 
panacea was 
branding the 
body with a 
burning weed 
called iHOxa. 
This was pre- 
scribed for 
troubles as un- 
like as rheuma- 






tism and toothache. Women, at certain critical moments in 
their lives, were thought to be relieved by having the little 
toe of their right foot burned three times. We often noticed 
scars upon the naked backs and limbs of our jinrikisha men, 
and learned that they had been produced by this strange med- 
ical treatment. 

In tra\'eling through the rural districts of Japan, the tour- 
ist soon becomes accustomed to the peasant's lack of clothing. 
It is not the exception here to be undressed — it is the rule. 
Even in the 
streets of Tokio 
one will behold, 
on rainy days, 
thousands of 
m e n ^v earing 
neither trousers 
nor stockings, 
walking about 
with tucked-up 
clothes and long 
white limbs, 
which gives 
them the ap- 
pearance of 

storks upon a river-bank. Even those who have adopted the 
European dress will frequently, on a muddy day, practice 
economy by discarding their trousers, and, unconscious of 
any incongruity, will take their ''constitutional" on wooden 
clpgs, with bare legs and feet, though having the upper part 
of their bodies covered with a frock-coat and a Derby hat ! 

Among these scantily-clad people one often sees a some- 
what better dressed but melancholy man, who, with his 
downcast eyes and shaven head, appears to have lost his 
friends together with his hair. He represents a useful class 





of people in Japan — the mas- 
seurs, or professional manipu- 
lators of the body. One should 
not hastily conclude that he is 
smoking. It is true, the article 
between his lips is usually a 
pipe, but it is not the kind that 
holds tobacco. It is a reed-like 
instrument, on which he blows 
two plaintive notes to advertise 
his presence. In every Japan- 
ese town we always heard at 
night the mournful call of the 
masseur. The laughter which 
their appearance at first pro- 
vokes, gives place to pity when 

one learns that nearly all of these men are blind. It is a calling 

which, notwithstanding their infirmity, they can follow, and 

they are said 

to be adepts 

at it. 

To appre- 
ciate a Japan- 
ese masseur, it 

is necessary 

to see one of 

them at work. 

This, it is true, 

is more than 

he himself can 

do, since he is 

blind ; but our 

pity is soon 

diverted from 




him to the person lie is treatin^^, not 
so much because of the pinching to 
w hich he subjects his \nctim as on ac- 
count of the pillow on which 
the patient's head reclines. 
It makes one think of Anne 
Boleyn or Mary Stuart, with 
their necks upon the fatal 
block; for a Japanese pillow 
is a wedge-shaped piece of 
wood, about a foot in length, on 
top of which is tied a wad of 
cloth, about the size of a Bologna 
sausage. To try to sleep with 
the neck supported in this fashion 
would seem to most Americans as hopeless as to woo slumber 
with a fence-rail for a pillow. One shudders to consider the 
discomfort, under these conditions, of turning over in bed, 
and trying to locate the neck on such a diminutive support. 
Yet, after all, we are creatures of habit, and forty million 
people in Japan use just such pillows every night, without 
suffering from insomnia. It is even claimed that Japanese 
women delight 
in them, since 
they do not dis- 
arrange the hair. 
Nor does this 
appear strange, 
when one scru- 
tinizes their 
methods of coif- 
fure. They are 
something mar- 
velous. The 




hair of Japanese women 
is, with few exceptions, 
as black as ebony, and 
very abundant. More-' 
over, it is usually pro- 
fusely oiled, and glis- 
tens like a raven's wing. 
Through these polished 
tresses are invariably 
drawn hairpins of gold, 
strings of coral, or orna- 
ments of tortoise-shell. 
But as to how the la- 
dies of Japan produce 
in their coiffures their 
black crescendos and 
diminuendos, their sharp staccato puffs and portamento water- 
falls, the writer dares not hazard a conjecture. Yet of one 
thing we may be sure : if we were to venture into a Japanese 
lady's boudoir, we 
should find that 
help is needed to 
produce them. The 
toilette-stand and 
looking-glass might 
seem to us a trifle 
low; but we must 
bear in mind that 
Japanese domes- 
tic life is regulat- 
ed by a level three 
feet lower than our 
own: in other words, 
where we use chairs, 




they seat themselves on the floor. This furnished us a key 
to much that liitherto had seemed puz/.Hn<^ in their habits. 
Whether a thing be sensible or not depends upon the point 
of view, — in this case, the height at which we seat ourselves. 
Once regard an exquisitely clean floor of cushioned matting as 
an immense divan, and taking off our muddy boots becomes 
a matter of course; and tables and lamps and mirrors will 
be placed at a height 
adapted to our needs. 
When a foreigner 
beholds for the first 
time a Japanese lady 
seated on her heels, 
as is the custom, he 
fancies that she has 
the small of her back 
supported by an enor- 
mous cushion. But 
when he subsequently 
sees this lady walking 
down the street, at- 
tended by her maid, 
he perceives that what 


appeared to him a sofa- 
pillow is really a regular part of her costume. It is a heavy 
silken sash, extremely long and often very elegant, which 
keeps the robe itself in place. This obi, as it is called, is the 
most precious article of a Japanese lady's wardrobe. Its usual 
length is fourteen feet, and when its material is silk or gold 
brocade it will be seen that it has some value. These sashes 
exhibit, of course, a great variety of color, and one can scarcely 
find a prettier sight than that of several well-dressed Japanese 
ladies, grouped together in the vivid sunlight. They look as 
radiant and attractive as a bouquet of flowers. 




American ladies who have 
tried the Japanese dress say 
that the tying of the obi is ex- 
tremely difficult. But here, as 
in the art of hair-dressing, a 
lady's maid is almost indis- 
pensable. The bow, although 
arranged in different styles, is 
always worn behind, thus spoil- 
ing, in some measure, the out- 
line of the form. When a Jap- 
anese lady becomes a widow, 
she makes no change in the 
position of the obi, unless she 
wishes publicly to announce 

that she will never marry again. In that case, it is said, she 

ties the bow in front. Whether this wards off all proposals 

may be doubted ; but gossip relates that, once in a while, the 

widow comes to look at 

life a little differently, 

and then the bow works 

gradually round again to 

its original position. 
Japanese ladies make 

a serious mistake when 

they exchange their na- 
tional style of dress for 

that of foreigners, for, 

as a rule, their charm 

and beauty leave them 

when they appear in 

European garments. On 

two occasions we saw 

some thus arrayed, and 





the effect was 
p a i n f Li 1 . If 
most of them 
had put on each 
other's dresses 
b y mist a k e , 
they w o 11 1 d 
h a V e 1 o o Iv e d 
about as well; 
and in the ab- 
sence of corsets 
their little fig- 
ures seemed as 
much out of place as children in their mother's wrappers. 

Some years ago a letter signed by Mrs. Cleveland and 
many other prominent women of America was addressed to 
their sisters in Japan, urging them not to risk their health and 
comfort by adopting European dress. It \vas of little avail. 
The die was cast. In 1885 the Japanese Empress and her 







suite appeared for the last time in public in the tasteful cos- 
tumes of the past. Since then, the order has gone forth that 

all ladies who 
present them- 
selves at court 
must do so in 
European dress; 
and it is to be 
feared that, ere 
a score of years 
have passed, the 
lovely and appro- 
priate robes of 
old Japan will 
have disappeared 
forever. Until quite recently, the universal rule for Japanese 
women, when they married, was to shave their eyebrows, pull 
out their eye- 
lashes, and stain 
their teeth jet 
black. Even 
the present em- 
press did these 
things at her 
marriage. The 
idea seems to 
have been to 
make them- 
selves look hid- 
eous, so as to 
have no more 
admirers, de- 
spite the fact that the average husband, as we all know, ap- 
preciates his wife better if he perceives that other men are 




aware of her attractions. But under the new rdginic this sad 
disfigurement is rapidly disappearing, and at present the 
younger ladies of Japan, at least, show rows of pearly teeth 
when laughter parts their lips. 

The richest toilettes that we saw in the land of the Mikado 
were worn by geisha girls, without whom Japanese festivals 
are incomplete. Some of these dainty creatures form an 
orchestra while others dance. Their instruments of sound 


(one can hardly call them instruments of music) consist usu- 
ally of two kinds of drums and a long, three-stringed banjo, 
called the samiscn. Sometimes a flute also is used. We 
frequently disputed as to which of these was the least excru- 
ciating, but on the whole we preferred the drums. Wlien to 
this combination a human voice was added, our teeth were set 
on edge. 

Young as they look, these geishas are professionals, and 
training-schools exist in Tokio and Kioto, where they are 
sometimes taught when only seven years of age. A Japanese 
dancing-girl forms a charming picture. Her long kimono of the 



richest silk is 
beautifully em- 
broidered with 
such a wealth 
of lovely flow- 
ers, that she 
herself resem- 
bles a bouquet 
in motion. Her 
broad obi is of 
the heaviest 
crape, and falls 
upon a petti- 
coat of gor- 
geous color. 
Black lacquered sandals half conceal her tiny, white-socked 
feet, and in each hand she holds a decorated fan. Do not 
expect from her the slightest approach to Lottie Collins. 
The dance of ''Ta-ra-ra-boom-de-ay," performed by a geisha 
girl, would make a subject of the Mikado, if he were unpre- 
pared for it, faint away. Nor will the spectator see the least 
exposure of her personal charms. For, strangely enough, the 
Japanese, who will at other times dispense with all the clothing 
possible, conceal a dancer's form with rigid severity. There 
is not much expression in these dancers' faces. One feels 
that they are not women, but girls to whom intense emotions 





are as yet unknown. They merely represent in <^raceful pan- 
tomime some son<^- or story, flitting- about like i)retty butter- 
flies, or swaying back and forth like flowers in a summer breeze. 
Leaving Atami, we had a charming ride of seven miles 
beside the ocean. The road (which may be called the Jap- 
anese Cornice) is passable for jinrikishas; and while on one 
side we looked off upon the Pacific, on the other we found that 


every valley had a background of well-rounded mountains, 
covered with verdure soft as velvet, from which at intervals a 
stream of crystal water rushed to meet the sea. The scenery 
of Japan may not be grand, but for a charming combination 
of the elements which make a country beautiful, enlivened 
constantly by natives in their novel occupations, the seven- 
mile drive from old Atami can hardly be surpassed. 

Moreover, the people, as we met them on these journeys, 
pleased us greatly. They were invariably courteous and 
gentle in their manners, and no boorishness was visible, even 



among the lower classes. They always seemed to be good- 
natured. However stormy the weather, however heavy the 
load, however bad the roads, we never heard a Japanese com- 
plain, nor saw one in a bad humor. If the foreigner becomes 
angry with them, they laugh as if he were making himself 


ridiculous; and presently he feels that they are right, and that 
violent anger is in truth absurd. 

Yet, just as beneath the smiling landscapes of Japan still 
lurk the terrible volcanic forces of destruction, so underneath 
the sunny dispositions of the Japanese are all the character- 
istics of the warrior. Their history has thoroughly estab- 
lished that they are a manly, patriotic, martial race. Their 
gentleness, therefore, comes not from servility, but is the 
product of inborn courtesy and refinement. 

The Japanese are naturally of a happy disposition. A 
smile illumines every face. Apparently their past has no 
regrets, their present no annoyances, their future no alarms. 



They love the beautiful in nature and in art. They live simply ; 
and how much that means I Their wants are few. The houses 
of the wealthy do not differ much from those of the poor. 
Hence life for them is free from almost all those harrow- 
ing cares and worriments which sometimes make existence 
in the Occident a long, incessant struggle to keep up appear- 
ances. If they are sad, they seldom show their sadness in 
public. They evidently believe with the poet : 

"Laugh, and the world laughs with you; 
Weep, and you weep alone." 

In some provinces of Japan, when a new bridge is opened, 
not the richest, but the happiest, persons in the community 
are chosen to pass over it first, as a favorable omen. 

Strange as it may appear, however, these qualities of 
the Japanese have been regarded by some travelers as faults. 
A tourist once solemnly remarked to me: ''The great trouble 
with the Japan- 
ese is that they 
are too happy." 

''What!" I 
exclaimed, "can 
any one be too 
happy in this 

' ' Certain- 
ly, " was the 
reply; "the Jap- 
anese are too 

light-hearted to '^ Japanese hearse. 

learn with advantage the lessons of adversity. If a calamity 
befalls them, they often smile and say, ' Well, it can't be 
helped,' and then try to think no more about it. Worst of 
all," he continued, "they do not worry about the future, but 
actually meet death fearlessly and calmly." 



''My friend," I answered, *'if to enjoy as much as possi- 
ble this world that God has given us, if to smile bravely in 
adversity, and if to die without fear, are faults, it would be 
well if many other people possessed them, too. You re- 
mind me of the 
old lady in New 
Hampshire, who 
exclaimed sadly, 
' The Universal- 
ists tell us that 
all men are to be 
saved, but — we 

I " "i_^*i#^ ^..^^^LWf^^^m ' hope for better 
.I*' i»^.^jMR things ! ' " 

In fact, a re- 
markable char- 
acteristic of the 
Japanese is the 
cheerful, almost 
jovial, way they 
have of announcing a calamity. An English resident of Japan 
called our attention to this fact soon after our arrival, and our 
experience confirmed his testimony. Whether the cause be 
nervousness or a dislike to give one pain, the fact remains 
that the Japanese will often preface a bit of dreadful news 
with laughter, or at least with a chuckle. Thus, whenever 
our guide called our attention to a funeral, his face would 
wreathe itself in smiles. 

Still more extraordinary was the manner of a barber in the 
hotel at Yokohama. As he was shaving me one morning, 
after a moderate earthquake-shock the night before, he sud- 
denly remarked, with what appeared to be a burst of unpre- 
meditated merriment: ^'Oh, last night's shock was nothing. 
Why, a few years ago, in Tokio, my father and mother were 




killed outright by an earthquake (Ha! Ha!); the house fell 
right on top of them (He! He!), and crushed them both to 
death (Ha! Ha! Ha!)." 

It is difficult to explain this peculiarity otherwise than b}- 
supposing it to be a nervous mannerism; for, as a race, the 
Japanese are very affectionate, and filial reverence is a relig- 
ious duty. In this instance I was so astonished at the man's 
hilarity, that I very nearly fell out of his chair. W^e thought 
of this incident again, when, some wrecks later, we found 
ourselves in the Japanese province which had suffered most 
from the calamitous earthquake of October, 1891. Thou- 
sands of houses, we found, had been wrecked by that catas- 


trophe, and in one place the railway tracks had been vio- 
lently bent and twisted, like a chain irregularly thrown upon 
the ground. The motion lasted less than a minute; but what 
cannot an earthquake do in forty seconds? There came one 



mighty shock, — 
and over an ex- 
tent of many 
miles the build- 
ings fell like 
packs of cards. 
Great blocks of 
solid masonry 
were tossed 
about like dice. 
Trees lay around 
like jackstraws. 
Large manufac- 
turing towns 
were ruined. Thousands of husbands, wives, and children 
who, but an instant previous, had been happy at their work 
or play, were suddenly crushed by falling roofs, mangled by 
heavy timbers, buried alive in the debris, or burned to ashes 
by fires caused by overturned braziers. By chance we trav- 
eled through this region on the first anniversary of that great 
calamity, and many people, we were told, felt anxious till the 
day was over. But earthquakes in Japan, alas! are limited 





to no special dates. Their visits are extremely numerous and 
quite impartial as to months and days. Our earth is said to 
be quietini^ down in its subterranean disturbances; but poor 
Japan still has no less than fifty-one volcanoes labeled '' ac- 
tive," and experiences every year, on an average, five hun- 
dred seismic shocks, besides numerous destructix^e typhoons 
or hurricanes. Most of them are, of course, mere tremors; 


but once in a while there comes a stroke that causes fearful 
devastation, as when in Tokio, in 1703, thirty-seven thousand 
lives were lost. Such terrible manifestations of volcanic 
power remind one of the more appalling scenes that must 
have been enacted here, when Nature brought these islands 
from the sea, pouring them from her fiery crucible. 

In planning a journey through the interior of Japan, the 
tourist naturally inquires where and with what accommodation 
he is to spend the nights upon the trip. He need not have 



the least anxiety. In the four prominent cities, — Tokio, 
Yokohama, Kobe, and Kioto, — there are first-class hotels, 
with rooms and food adapted to the tastes of foreigners. In 
many smaller places, too, like Miyanoshita and Atami, the 
hotels, although simpler, are both comfortable and well-man- 
aged. One suffers no discomfort in any of these localities. 
But in the country villages (which need not be included in 


the traveler's route unless he so desires), he must adopt the 
Japanese mode of sleeping in a tea-house — that is to say, in a 
regular Japanese hotel. 

As our jinrikishas drew up before one of these, we saw 
a pretty, modern building of two stories, adorned as usual 
with paper lanterns. At intervals, on the edge of every bal- 
cony, were tall, rectangular boxes reaching from floor to 
ceiling.* These upright cases contain wooden shutters, about 
as large as the leaves of a dining-table, which are at night 




taken out, and pushed along in grooves, to make an outside 
wall for the entire house. When that is done, each balcony 
of course be- 
comes an inside 
corridor. Thus 
every Japanese 
dwelling con- 
sists, as it were, 
of two houses, 
one within the 
other, enclosed 
in separate 
cases, — the in- 
side one of paper, the outer one of wood. As we alighted 
here, the landlord and his servants hurried out to greet us, 
dropped on their knees, and, with their hands spread out, 

palms d o w n - 
ward, and their 
foreheads al- 
most touching 
the floor, they 
bowed repeat- 
edly, like the 
''three little 
maids from 
school." W'hat 
a contrast was 
here between 
the Orient and 
the Occident. 
Imagine a hotel 
clerk in America 
down upon his knees! In our hotels the traveler's first duty 
is to register his name. Here there is something even more 




important to attend to, namely, removing his shoes. Off 
they must come before he steps upon the dehcate mattings 
and the gHstening floor, just as with us a muddy overshoe 
would not be tolerated on a parlor carpet. In fact, on enter- 
ing the hall, one sees what in America would be called a hat- 
rack, but which is here designed for holding shoes. 

The tourist, therefore, should invariably carry with him in 
Japan a pair of soft, felt slippers, for otherwise he will be fre- 
quently obliged 
to walk about 
in hotels, shops, 
and temples, 
with merely 
stockings on his 

In nearly all 
Japanese dwell- 
ings one usual- 
ly finds, hung 
in conspicuous 
places, some 
framed mottoes 
and proverbs, 

much as in many of our own country houses we read upon 
the walls such a comforting assurance as ''The Lord will pro- 
vide," or the melancholy conundrum ''What is home without 
a mother?" To Occidental eyes, Japanese ideographs do not 
appear beautiful. They look like the meanderings of intoxi- 
cated flies that have been immersed in ink. As for their 
meaning, one motto was translated to us as signifying: "May 
Buddha bless this house ! ' ' Others were words of praise which 
princely visitors had left ; while not a few were epigrams or 
proverbs, for which the Japanese are famous. Some of them 





ran as follows: "The absent get farther away every day; 
"Clever preacher, short sermon;" "A woman's tongue three 

inches long can 

kill a man six 


feet high;" 


"Live under 


your own hat ;" 
" Don't make a 



long call when 

the husband is 
not at home." 
And yet av e 
send mission- 
aries to Japan ! at the tea-house door. 

With many bows and smiles the landlord of the tea-house 
led the way up a flight of exquisitely polished stairs, and 
showed us our apartments. We looked around us with aston- 
ishment, for no furniture was visible. The floor, it is true, 
was covered with fine matting, but, with that one exception, 
the rooms, which opened into each other, were as bare as 

an unfurnished 
flat. Their 
number a n d 
extent depend- 
ed largely on 
ourselves. Did 
we desire an 
entire story? 
We had but to 
push back the 
paper screens, 
JAPANESE MOTTOES. aud it was ours. 

Did we insist on having separate rooms? Close up the little 
screens again, and each could sleep in his own paper box. 



exactly twelve feet square. Unfortunately there are no locks 
upon these paper screens; hence, just as one is getting out of 
bed in the morning, the whole side of his room will sometimes 
disappear with the rapidity of a liberated Holland shade I 
Moreover, Japanese servants, urged by curiosity, will often 
poke a moistened finger through a square of paper, to study 
foreign toilettes at their leisure. During the daytime, in the 


summer, even the screens are removed, to give free access to 
the breeze, and the house then becomes the empty skeleton 
of its former self. 

But what most puzzled us at first was where to hang our 
clothes. There were no hooks upon the walls, there was not 
even a table for our toilet articles. It seemed too bad to put 
our coats and hair-brushes on the floor. But one must recollect 
that Japanese floors are not like ours, since no boots ever 
touch them. For native guests a beautiful, square, lacquered 
box is usually provided, in which they lay the carefully folded 



robes which they remove before retiring. To us, howex'er, 
no Hmited receptacle Hke that was given. We had tlie un- 
restricted floor. 

I _ _L _ Ha I 

The beds in — aii 

which we slept 
afforded us the 
most amuse- 
ment. When bed- 
t i m e comes in 
Japanese homes, 
quilts are brought 
out from a closet 
and spread upon 
the floor. Within 


five minutes all is ready for the night, and with the morning 
light they disappear again. Occasionally, in the larger tea- 
houses, we, as foreigners, had special luxuries, — such as cotton 
sheets, a couch of seven comforters, instead of the usual two, 
and, for a bolster, an extra quilt rolled up as with a shawl- 
strap. Thus al- 
together, includ- 
ing what we used 
for coverings, 
our most luxu- 
rious couches in 
Japan consisted 
of from ten to 
a dozen c o m - 

W e found 
some difficulty 
in getting suffi- 
cient sleep in Japanese tea-houses; not from the composition 
and arrangement of our beds, but from the noise about us, 





which seldom ceased before the hour of midnight, and always 
woke us with the dawn. Even our " summer hotels," with 
their distressingly thin partitions, are delightfully tranquil 
compared with the country inns of Japan. For sliding screens 
of paper are practically no barrier at all to sound, and, as if 
that were not sufficiently aggravating, these paper walls rarely 
reach the top of the room, but leave a ventilating space of a 
foot or two, through which the mingled snoring, prayers, and 


conversation of the guests, and 
the matutinal clatter of the serv- 
ants, roll and reverberate like dis- 
tant thunder. 

The morning after my arrival, 
I pushed aside a screen with my 
forefinger, and lo ! half of my room 
stood open to the rising sun. Descending to the courtyard, 
I beheld a Japanese servant hurrying toward me on her 
wooden clogs, to give me tea. 

What shall be said of these attractive little waitresses, 
who make the dullest tea-house gay with laughter, brighten 
the darkest day with brilliant colors, and sweeten every tea-cup 





with a smile ? Tliey arc not 

usually beautiful, or even \\-om- 

anly, in the sense of being dig- 
nified. They rather seem like 

well - de\'eloped school - girls, 

just sobered down enough to 

wear long dresses, but perfectly 

unable to refrain at times from 

screams of merriment. Yet 

search the world through, and 

where Avill you find servants 

such as these? From the first 

moment when they fall upon 

their knees and bow their fore- 
heads to the floor, till the last 

instant, when they troop around 

the door to call to you their musical word for farewell, — 

'' Sayonara," — they seem to be the daintiest, happiest, and 

most obliging 
specimens of 
humanity that 
walk the earth. 
We were partic- 
ularly pleased 
with one agree- 
able trait of all 
these Japanese 
girls — their 
clean and well- 
shaped hands. 
One would, of 



course, expect 
them to be 



small, for delicate frames are a characteristic of the race, but 
almost without exception the hands of all the waitresses who 
served us in Japan looked as if they had just emerged from 
a hot bath, and had been manicured besides. '^A trifle," 
some would say, but, after all, such trifles help to make per- 
fection. When one has traveled through a country for two 
months, and from one end of it to the other has seen pretty, 


well-kept hands extended to him fifty times a day, he feels 
respect and admiration for a race so neat and delicate to their 
finger-tips. The Japanese, according to our Occidental stand- 
ard, may not have much godliness, but they possess what 
comes next to it — personal cleanliness. And I am sure that, 
at any time, I would rather associate with a nice, wholesome 
sinner than with an uncleanly saint ! ' 

It was while we were taking our breakfast here, that we 
beheld, in a neighboring room, a lady being served with tea 




by her domestic, who was approaching her mistress on her 
knees. Nothing amazed us more than this, for in the United 
States these po- 
sitions are usu- 
ally reversed. 
In free America 
it is the lady 
who, figurative- 
ly speaking, has 
to "go d o wMi 
on her knees " 
before her cook. 
When we con- 
sider the serious 

drawbacks to domestic happiness and comfort, occasioned 
by the insolence and inefficiency of servants in America, 
who, as a rule, are better lodged, clothed, and fed than any 
other class of laborers in the world, one questions if in this, 
and many other respects, Japan will be improved by contact 

with the Occi- 

What Mos- 
cow is to the 
Russians, Kioto 
is to the Japa- 
nese, their pres- 
e n t capital, 
Tokio, corre- 
sponding rather 
to St. Peters- 
burg. Kioto is 
the ancient cap- 
ital, — the sacred city of the empire, — hallowed by countless 
shrines and endeared by centuries of classic memories. It 




was for a thousand years the home of the Mikado, and is 
still the centre of old Japanese art. Here also, till the revo- 
lution of 1869, lived many nobles of the highest rank, to- 
gether with distinguished poets, priests, and artists. Its name, 

Kioto, denotes the 
City of Peace, and 
its best citizens were 
thought to be the 

most refined and polished of a race whose gentle manners are 
still unsurpassed. 

Our hotel in Kioto was unlike the inns of other Japanese 
cities, being neither a European structure, like the hotels at 
Tokio and Yokohama, nor yet a tea-house, such as we had 
lately seen. It was a compromise between the two, with com- 
fortable rooms and foreign furnishings. Its situation is far 
above the city, upon a wooded hill that has been sacred to 
Buddha for a thousand years. Around it are old temples, 
monasteries, and pagodas, among which one can walk in 
shaded paths the livelong day. Often, while seated on the 
spacious hotel balcony which overlooks the town, we heard a 



strangely fascinating sound rolling toward us through the 
sacred groves in solemn, silvery vibrations. We discovered 
after a short, walk the cause of this. It was a huge bronze 
bell, — no less than seventy-four tons in weight, — whose 
sweet-voiced call to prayer has echoed over this hill for 
nearly three hundred years. There are few sounds more 
pleasing to the ear than the vibrations of a distant, deep- 
toned bell. Except in Russia I had never heard such notes 
as those that issue from the bells of old Japan. Their solemn 
strokes swell through the forest like the crescendo of an 
orchestra. These bells, however, are not rung, like ours, by 
wrenching them from side to side, until a pendant tongue 
falls sharply on their inner rim. Ah, no! the Japanese treat 
them far more cleverly. Suspended from the belfry roof is a 


large, rounded shaft of wood. An 
attendant swings this to one side, 
and lets it fail, to strike the in- 
verted bowl of bronze one mighty 
blow. The difference in sound pro- 
duced by using wood instead of metal, is astonishing. There 
is no grating jar, no sharpness in the tone, but one stupendous 
boom of sound, as though a musical cannon were discharged. 




one we entered, five bells, 
were hanging in 
the lacquered 
porch . The 
worshiper pulls 
one of these, to 
call the atten- 
tion of the god ; 
then, having 
said a prayer, 
he drops a coin 
into a grated 
box and goes 
his way. On 
one occasion, \ 
we saw a pret- i -, . ,-v 
ty baby, three 

This instantly re- 
solves itself into 
slow -moving, 
ever widening, 
circles of reverbera- 
tion, which fall upon 
the ear more and 
more faintly, till 
they die away like 
the last murmur of 
the surf upon the 

Accepting the in- 
vitation which that 
bell conveyed to us, we 
strolled toward one of Ki- 
oto's many temples. In the 
with long white cords attached, 




months old, brought hither in its mother's arms, and made to 
pull the bell-rope with its tiny hand. Then the great-grand- 
mother of the child, herself almost eighty-six years old, ad- 
vanced with trembling limbs and rang it for the second time. 
It was a suggestive picture, — this vision of old age and in- 
fancy, like opposite poles of an electric battery, completing 
here a circuit of four generations; pathetic emblems of the 


past and future, — the smiling infant looking forward to antici- 
pated blessings, the feeble matron thankful for the gifts re- 

The Japanese have really two religions, in some respects 
rivals of each other. The elder, or original faith, is Shinto- 
ism ; the younger, which has struggled to supplant it for 
twelve hundred years, is Buddhism. 

It is difficult to comprehend exactly Avhat Shintoism is. 
The name means, literally, ''The way of the gods," but it is 



the vaguest known religion. 
It has no bible, no dogmas, 
and not even a moral code. 
It dimly hints at immortal- 
ity, but has no definite 
heaven or hell. Its gods 
are either deified national 
heroes or else personifica- 
tions of nature, such as the 
glorious sun, the all-sur- 
rounding ocean, and the in- 
numerable deities of moun- 
tains, rivers, rocks, and trees. 
Its shrines for worship, with 
their gray stone lanterns 
and majestic torii, are se- 
verely plain, its services extremely simple, and all its priests 
appear like laymen in the streets, donning their clerical robes 





only when they officiate 
in the temples. 

Not so the Buddhist 
priests. Their costume, 
Hke their ritual, is im- 
posing. While Shinto 
priests may marry, the 
Buddhists take the vow 
of celibacy. In fact, 
though wholly different 
in its creed from the 
great Roman Catholic 
communion, some of 
the ceremonials of Bud- 
dhism remind us of it ; 
such as their richly- 
mantled priests, their altars bright with candles and adorned 
with flowers, their clouds of incense, grand processionals, and 

r.UDDHlST I RiKsr: 




statues of the gods and saints. What wonder, then, since it 
has such attractions, that this rehgion, when it came hither 
from India, about six centuries after Christ, achieved at once 
a remarkable success ? The colder Shinto faith lost ground, 


and even the Mikados gave to Buddha's doctrines favor and 
support for centuries; but Shintoism has now once more be- 
come the state religion. 

The furnishings of the Buddhist temples in Japan are 
often marvels of artistic beauty, comprising tables, columns, 
doors, and even floors, composed of ruby red or jet-black 
lacquer, which is so thick and smooth as to produce the effect 
of rosewood or solid ebony. Here, too, are altars loaded 
down with ornaments of gold and bronze, silken screens in- 
scribed with sacred characters, exquisite bronze lanterns, 
incense-burners, gilded gongs, tall lotus-flowers with leaves of 
gold, and beautiful lacquered boxes placed on stands about 
the floor, within which are the precious manuscripts of 



Buddhist scriptures. In a word, recall the richest specimens 
of Japanese art that you have ever seen, and know that with 
such adornment the finest temples in Japan are filled. 

In some of the less important Buddhist shrines, however, 
''all that glitters is not gold." Some temples are repulsive 
from their shabby ornaments, hideous idols, and gaudy paper 
lanterns. Some of their deities are enthroned behind a 
wooden grating, and worshipers tie to the latter a bit of cloth 
on which has been inscribed a petition. One such deity, 
we were assured, has for his special function the assisting of 
women to obtain good husbands. He is immensely popular. 
We saw, in half an hour, at least a dozen women knock on 
the grating to rouse him and entreat his services. One old 
woman, who evidently knew from experience how rare good 
husbands are, 
led two of her 
daughters to the 
gate, and pound- 
ed on it savage- 
ly three times. 
Yet even in that 
temple we found 
a proof of how 
the western 
world has in- 
vaded the cus- 
toms of Japan ; 
for here, amid 
the grotesque 
deities, was hung 
an eight-day clock, which proved on examination to have 
come from Ansonia, Connecticut ! 

A singular feature of many of these Buddhist temples is a 
line of votive tablets, erected by pious souls, who wished 




either to show by means of pictures tlie dangers from which 
God had rescued them, or else to certify, in written words, 
to miraculous answers to their prayers. The Buddhist relig- 
ion, however, despite its age and its indubitable hold upon, 
the people, is not to-day, as we have said, the official religion 
of Japan. Since 1869 the Government has favored Shinto- 
ism, and many Buddhist temples have been stripped of their 
magnificent decorations and dedicated to the Shinto faith. 

Accordingly, the 
that once came 
freely from the 
people are now 
falling off, and 
it is difficult to 
keep in good re- 
pair the costly 
lacquer work 
and gilding of 
the temples. 
Some shrines 
already look 
shabby and neg- 

leCted. How- 

votive riCTUKES. 

ever, an occasional exception to this rule shows how danger- 
ous it is to make unqualified statements about Japan. 

In Kioto, for example, we found a most astonishing proof 
of the vitality of Japanese Buddhism in the new and splendid 
temple of Higashi Hongwanji, which at the time of our visit 
was in process of construction. We saw it on the occasion of 
a special festival, when popular recognition and acclaim were 
manifested in profuse and elaborate decorations. But, the 
truth is, the temple is continually receiving the support of 
untold thousands of the Japanese. All the surrounding 



provinces have given it, not only money, but timber, metals, 
and stone, besides the transportation of materials free of cost. 
It seems as if conservative and faithful Buddhists, indignant at 
the prevalent idea that their religion is declining, were making 
this stupendous effort to show the world their strength and 
their devotion. 

One object in this shrine especially impressed us. This 
was a pile of rope, — each strand as long and large as a ship's 


cable, — made of women's hair, twisted and spliced with 
hemp ! These ropes are the offerings of poor but devout 
women, thousands of whom, in nine Japanese provinces, hav- 
ing nothing else to give,, contributed their hair, to be woven 
into cables for hoisting beams and tiles in the construction of 
the temple. One rope, two hundred and fifty feet in length, 
was the gift of three thousand five hundred women in one 
province alone. This seems at first, perhaps, a trifling thing; 
but when one recollects the pride which Japanese women take 
in their abundant hair, the care they show in its arrangement, 
and the entire absence in Japan of hats or bonnets to conceal 



the sacrifice, their action is remarkable. And when we per- 
ceived among the usual black strands occasional streaks of 
white and gray, proving that this enthusiasm extended from 
youth to age, it seemed to us the most touching proof of pop-, 
ular devotion to a sacred cause that we had ever seen. 

We witnessed a number of inatsuris^ or religious festivals 
in Japan, when all the principal streets were thronged with 
people, and even the house-tops held their private box-par- 
ties. On every 
such occasion 
there would ap- 
pear, in the cen- 
tre of the thor- 
oughfare, an ob- 
ject that never 
failed to fill us 
with amazement. 
Think of a hun- 
dred men pulling 
madly on two 
ropes, and draw- 
ing thus a kind 
of car, mounted 
on two enormous 
wooden wheels. 
Resting on this, and rising far above the neighboring roofs, 
imagine a portable shrine, resembling a pagoda, with roof of 
gold, and gorgeously decorated with silken tapestries, which 
are so richly embroidered and heavily gilded as to be valued 
at many thousands of dollars. This structure had two stories, 
on each of which were many life-size figures, — some being 
actual men and women, while others were mere painted 
statues, hideous and grotesque. Behind this came another 
car, shaped like a huge bird with crested head. Upon this 




second vehicle 
also stood an 
edifice, three 
stories high, re- 
splendent with 
tapestries and 
gilded orna- 
ments, and 
bearing stat- 
ues of old Jap- 
anese deities, so 
laughably gro- 
tesque, that had 
not their sur- 
roundings been 
so rich the whole procession 
Some of these statues, which w 



would have seemed a farce, 
ere made to open their mouths 
and wag their 
heads like pup- 
pets, were es- 
pecially ap- 
plauded. Men, 
women, and 
children rode 
upon these cars, 
blowing horns 
and beating 
drums. If we 
had closed our 
eyes, we might 
have thought 
that we were 

istening to a 



Fourth of July parade of the'' Antiques and Horribles." What 
most impressed us was the absence of what we should consider 
religious feeling. It was a show, a brilliant pageant — nothing 
more; though, as such, it was heartily enjoyed by thousands. 


^The streets in Kioto,' like those of most Japanese cities, 
are usually much alike. No heavy teams disturb their 
rounded surfaces. Few vehicles, save light jinrikishas, pass 
over them. Almost no animals are ever seen in them. They 
are as clean as sidewalks are with us. In most of them we 
can perceive some groups or individuals, arrayed in varied col- 
ors, moving about like brilliant fragments in a long kaleido- 
scope. On either side extends a line of little houses, which, 
in point of architectural effect, appear monotonous, but since 
their lower stories are all open to the street, and from the fact 
that most of them are shops with all their goods on exhibition 
two feet from the thoroughfare, they really offer infinite 

' Approaching one of these shops, one first encounters a 
wooden platform, two feet from the ground. On this the 



Japanese purchaser usually seats himself, as he prepares to 
bargain. Most foreigners, however, being unable to fold 
comfortably their limbs beneath them for a cushion, assume a 
different attitude, and allow their feet to hang over the side. 
If they ascend the platform and really enter the shop, they 
are supposed to leave their shoes below, and walk in stocking 
feet ; for the shops of the Japanese are, like their houses, 
paved with polished wood or covered with spotless matting. 
The goods displayed by no means constitute the merchant's 
entire stock. The choicest articles are often in a fire-proof 
store-house, close at hand, and can be sent for at a moment's 
notice. As for the contents of these street bazaars, they 


comprise every article of clothing, ornament, and furniture 
conceivable by the Japanese mind. 

The shoe shops in particular w^ere, at first, a source of 
great surprise to us. "These surely are not shoes," we said, 





as we beheld 
their great vari- 
ety of foot-cov- 
erings. And yet. 
the Japanese are 
shod, though 
sandals is a bet- 
ter name than 
shoes, for what 
they wear. A 
Japanese gentle- 
man, who has 
not yet adopted 
European dress, wears in the house a cotton sock, which has 
a separate compartment for the great toe, like the thumb of a 
mitten. When he walks out, he plants his foot on a straw 
sandal, or, if the streets be muddy, on a wooden clog that 
rises three inches from the ground. In doing so, he thrusts 
the apex of a V-shaped cord between his great toe and the 
smaller ones, 
and, holding on 
his sandals thus, 
he marches off. * 
But not all 
the merchants 
of Kioto are 
content to stay 
in shops; and, 
in this respect, 
human nature 
is much the 
same the world 
over. The gor- 
geous vehicles a flowek mkkchan,. 



of American country peddlers, which we admired in our child- 
hood days, are reproduced here on a smaller scale, though 
without wheels; and as the Japanese are sure to be artistic in 
everything, we were not surprised to find their brooms and 
dusters grouped in clusters like a huge bouquet. The ped- 
dlers themselves are pictures of human placidity. It is true, 
their eyes will open somewhat at the sight of foreigners, but 
most of the beardless faces that one sees beneath their mush- 
room hats of straw might easily serve an artist as models 
for a Japanese 

In strolling 
through the 
streets, we often 
paused to watch 
the natives at 
their work. If, 
for example, it 
chanced to be a 
cobbler making 
wooden clogs, 
we saw, to our 
that his great 

toe could hold a block of wood as firmly as a thumb, and we 
began to ask ourselves if western workmen had gained much 
by covering up the feet and losing a third hand. The meth- 
ods of Japanese laborers seem to us, at first, a little clumsy, 
because they are unlike our own. But one soon comes to 
marvel at their skill. No nation is superior to them in dex- 
terity, fineness of touch, and delicacy of finish. In great 
things, as in small, one finds the same perfection. Japa- 
nese carpenters, for example, will use few nails in building a 
house, but they will make mortises so exact that water cannot 



penetrate between the joints; and they will 
decorate a fan or paint a photographic slide 
with touches so delicate that they will bear 
^i .. '^^ \ ^'> ! A inspection with a magnifying-glass. To watch . 
^t^ t^"i']jV''. 1 , 1 them is like watching our own mo- 

.'• ^ ^'"'' tions in a mirror, for everything ap- 

pears reversed. Our carpenters push 
; the plane from them ; the Japanese pull 
it toward them. The threads of our 
, si-^,^ screws turn to the right; theirs turn 
'HI to the left. Our keys turn outward; 
iM theirs turn inward. Nor is this differ- 
*rf|\|;i ence true of handicraft alone. Their 

way of doing hundreds of famihar 
, _,,,^^.„ - things is so directly opposite to ours, 

CHILD AND NUKSE. |-]^g^^ q^q jg almost tcmptcd to believe 

the cause to be their relative position on the other side of 
the globe, and that they are really living upside down. The 
only question is: '' Which side is up, and which is down?" 
The Japanese 
think our ways 
just as strange 
as we do theirs. 
We, for exam- 
ple, carry our 
babies in our 
arms; in Japan, 
however, they 
are strapped on 
the backs of 
children not 
much larger 
than them- 
selves, their lit- 
tle neaClS uemg Japanese carpenters. 



left to flop about like flowers half-broken from the stem. Nor 
is this custom the exception. It is the universal rule, alike in 
city streets and country lanes. Whole pages could be filled 
in mentioning points of difference between Japanese and 
European customs. Thus, we stand erect before distin- 
guished men, in token of respect; the Japanese, on the con- 
trary, sit down. We take off our hats when we enter a 
house, while they remove their shoes. Our books begin at 
the left ; theirs 

~1 1 

1 1 
1 1 

at the right ; and 
if the}^ have any 
" foot-notes," 
they are placed 
at the top of the 
page. We write 
across a sheet of 
paper horizon- 
tally ; they write 
vertically down 
the page, like 
we make a col- 
umn of figures. 
Our color for 
m o u r n i n e is 


black ; theirs is 
white. The best rooms in our houses are in front; theirs are 
in the rear. We mount our horses from the left; they from 
the right. We put a horse head foremost into a stall; they 
back him in and fasten him in the front. On seeing this, we 
laughingly recalled the showman's trick of getting people to 
" come and see a horse's head where his tail should be." 

But if the Japanese are proficient in the ordinary indus- 
tries of life, what shall be said of those finer proofs of their 
artistic skill which charm the world? At first, the foreigner 
hardly comprehends the value of their work or the amount of 



time and labor it has cost. 
Their articles of cloisonne 
are unsurpassed. In every- 
thing relating to handicraft 
in bronze the Japanese are 
unexcelled. Their flowered 
lacquer- work, also, with fig- 
ures raised in gold, has been 
perfected for a thousand 
years; while in the realm 
of silk embroidery and gold 
brocade the Japanese have 
been said to paint with the 
needle as other artists do 
with the brush. In brief, 
they have produced among 
themselves and for themselves, for centuries, unnumbered 
masterpieces of artistic excellence, and this without a particle 
of outside help save that which came to them originally from 
China. Not, therefore, as uncultured mendicants have they 
appeared upon the threshold of the western v/orld ; but rather 





as people who, while accepting much that we have gained, 
have also not a little of value to impart. Hence they are a 
nation that elicits, not merely interest and astonishment, but 
also admiration and respect. 

There is a fascination in watching a Japanese artist en- 
gaged in cloisonne work. Taking a copper vase, he traces on 
its surface certain figures, such as flowers, birds, and trees. 
Then, from a roll of brass, one-sixteenth of an inch in 



breadth, he cuts off tiny pieces which, with consummate skill, 
and by eye-measurement alone, he twists into a mass of lines 
which correspond exactly to the figures he has drawn. Hold- 
ing these bits of brass between the points of tweezers, he 
touches them with glue, and deftly locates them upon the 
rounded surface of the vase. At length, when all the figures 
are outlined, as it were, in skeleton, the flesh has to be 
applied. In other words, the thousands of interstices between 
the lines of brass are filled up with enamel of all shades and 
colors. When this is done the jar is put into a furnace, then 



touched with 

more enamel, 

then fired again, 

and so on, till it 

has been brought 

to the required 

degree of artistic 

finish. Then it 

is polished with 

great care, until 

the shining edges 

of the brass 

show through 

A SERENADE. thc cuamcl like 

the veins of a leaf. The colors also, by this time, are perfectly 

distinct and permanent, and the entire work stands forth, — a 

marvelous combination of delicacy, strength, and beauty. 

The scene, at evening, on the river-bank at Kioto is charm- 
ing. Along the 
water's edge are 
numerous little 
tea-houses, in 
front of which 
are many wood- 
en piers. These 
are divided 
off into little 
squares, like 
private boxes 
in a theatre, and 
in them groups 
of Japanese are 
seated, — smok- 
ing, or taking 




supper in the open air. Meantime, a thousand colored lan- 
terns gleam like fireflies on cither shore and fleck the river 
with a dust of gold. 

One cannot, however, praise the music which is here pro- 
duced. It would be highly amusing, if one were deaf; but 
when one's hearing is acute, a little of such music goes a long 
way. None of the most enthusiastic admirers of the Jap- 
anese has dared, as yet, to praise their music. To Occi- 
dental ears the twanging of their banjo strings, and, above 


all, their caterwaulings, are positive torture. And yet, it must 
be said that to the Japanese our music seemed at first no less 
absurd than theirs to us. At the first opera given in Tokio 
by a European company, the Japanese audience was con- 
vulsed with laughter, and when the prima donna sang her 
highest notes, some men and women could no longer control 
themselves, and were seen stuffing their handkerchiefs into 
their mouths to avoid uttering shrieks of merriment. 

In the immediate vicinity of Kioto is a bamboo grove 
possessing an extent and beauty unusual even in Japan, 
where the plant grows luxuriantly. The various ways in 



which the Japanese use the bamboo stalk afforded us con- 
tinual amusement and surprise, while it challenged admiration 
for their ingenuity. Bridges and scaffolding supports, water- 
pipes and fences, furniture, umbrellas, baskets, fans, hats, 
pipe-stems, sandals, screens, and walking-sticks, — are all con- 


structed from that jointed, hollow stem, which looks so light 
and delicate, yet in reality is strong and durable. A thing 
of beauty and utility, the bamboo is certainly one of the 
greatest blessings that Nature has bestowed upon her children 
in the Land of the Rising Sun. 

A pretty sight in traveling through the province of Uji, 
near Kioto, are its tea-plantations, consisting of acres of 



evergreen bushes, two or three feet high. Among these move 
and sparkle in the sun odd bits of color, which prove to be 
the scanty robes of women and children crouching among the 
plants and picking their leaves. Most of these tea-plants are 
left unsheltered from the sun and storm, but the more valu- 
able shrubs, producing tea worth six or seven dollars a pound, 
are covered by a trellis of bamboo, on which straw mats are 
placed. Sometimes the floor of an entire valley will be con- 
cealed beneath 
these mattings, 
which resemble 
a gigantic tent. 
It is a curious 
fact that, unlike 
teas from India 
and China, Jap- 
anese tea must 
not be made 
with boiling 
water, as that 
gives it a bitter 
flavor. Indeed, 
the finer the 
quality of the 

tea the cooler must be the water. Tea is the national bever- 
age of Japan, and has been largely used there for nearly a 
thousand years. The Japanese hotels are known as '' tea- 
houses," which correspond also to the cafe's of Europe. The 
cJia-no-yii, or fashionable ceremony of serving and drinking 
tea, has been for seven hundred years a national institution, 
governed by the minutest etiquette, each action and each 
gesture being regulated by a code of rules. It is said to 
have originated in a formal style of tea-drinking among the 
Buddhist priests, who found the beverage an easy means 




of keeping themselves awake during their nocturnal vigils. 
Japan may be said, therefore, not only to owe the introduc- 
tion of the tea-plant to a celebrated Buddhist saint, who 
imported it from China, but for her elaborate ceremony of 
tea-drinking to be still further indebted to the priests of 

While walking one day in Kioto, we met a fellow-passen- 
ger from Vancouver. 


" What places have you visited?" he asked. 

We told him. 

"Have you not been to Haruna, beyond Ikao?" he in- 

''No," we replied. ''We thought of going there, but 
finally decided to omit it." 

" You made a great mistake! " he cried. " Why not re- 
trace your steps and go there now? It is not too late." 

"That means," we said, "in all, six hundred miles of 
extra travel." 



IJ^ I Wjfflt^. 



'' No mat- 
ter, " he insist- 
ed. ''You had 
better do it. " 

''Are you 
quite serious? " 
" Not only 
serious, but en- 
thusiastic. You 
will never regret 
it. Go!" 

We followed 
his advice, and 
a few days later, 
one afternoon 
in late October, 

we found ourselves almost the only guests in a well-kept tea- 
house in Ikao. Swift 'rikisha men had brought us hither 
from the railway station, sixteen miles away. -The air was 
most exhilarating, for we were three thousand feet above the 

sea, which we 
had left eight 
hours before 
at Yokohama. 
Around us on 
all sides Avere 
lofty moun- 
tains, whose 
hidden treas- 
ures could not 
be explored in 
jinrikishas, for 
this was another 
point where all 



roads terminate, and only paths lead inward to the fabled 
homes of mountain deities. 

It was four o'clock the next morning when we started. 
It was still dark. The stars were glorious. We knew the 
coming day would be superb. It was as yet too cold for rid- 
ing, so, followed by our kago-bearers, we set forth on foot. 
For some time we walked on in silence, enraptured with the 


splendor of the sky. Above us gleamed the Dipper's seven 
diamond points; Orion's belt hung radiant amid a galaxy of 
other suns; while, just above a lofty mountain range, flashed 
with unwonted brilliancy the herald of approaching day. At 
'length the stellar light began to pale. The east became first 
white, then golden, as the sun advanced, and then there 
came an hour's scenery that can never be effaced from my 



The colors on the mountains were magnificent. Autumnal 
foliage mantled them with glory. Thousands of oaks and maples 
lined the slopes with every shade of orange, red, vermilion, 
green, and purple. In any light these varied tints would have 
been beautiful; but to behold them changing into glory, tree 
bv tree, as the first touch of dawn awakened them from sleep, 
was such a vision as we had never hoped to look upon. Some 
of this radiant foliage bedecked the ground, and sometimes we 
walked ankle- 
deep through 

M o r e o V e r , 
the pathway 
was all white 
with frost, and 
stretched away 
in glittering per- 
spective through 
the trees, like an 
avenue of silver 
between moun- 
tains of jewels. 
Intoxicated with 


such sights and with the crisp, aromatic air of that October 
dawn, we walked for miles without fatigue, unable to repress 
at times our exclamations of enthusiasm. 

After a time, we found ourselves at the entrance to a deep 
ravine, shaded by giant trees, which at that early hour Avere 
still unburnished by the sun. In view of the reverence felt 
by the Japanese for massive rocks and time-gnarled trees, it is 
not strange that this wild gorge of Haruna has been for ages 
looked upon as sacred. A feeling of solemnity stole over us. 
Instinctively we spoke in softer tones. I felt as once before, 



when sailing into a Norwegian fjord. It was a place for 
Dante to describe and for Dore to illustrate. 

At length we saw, wedged in between two mighty rocks, 
a flight of stone steps leading to a lacquered gate. Our Jap- 
anese attendant immediately bowed his head, removed his 
sandals, and knelt down to pray. Nor was this strange. 
Who could resist, in such a place, the impulse to revere that 
Power of which these forms of nature were imperfect sym- 
bols? At all events, whatever may have been the difference 
in our creeds, both traveler and native worshiped here that 
day, — one standing in the forest shade, the other kneeling 
on the moss-grown steps. 

After some moments' silence, our attendant arose and be- 
gan the ascent. ^ ^-«— a-™— _ We followed 
him. On ^^^^^^^^^H& %1 HP^. passing 
the .^^^^^^^^^Hk ^BM.«j^fll^ first 



V. l«.- ' \ 



gateway, we 
perceived an- 
other smaller 
portal, which 
seemed to lead 
directly into the 
cliff. Above 
it was a rock, a 
hundred and 
fifty feet in 
height, and 
shaped like a 
gigantic obe- 
lisk. Around it 
rose huge cryp- 
tomerias, like 
those of Nikko, 
tity and shade. 


wrinkled with age, and solemn in their sanc- 
The mountain-side so overhung the place 

that it seemed 
kept from fall- 
ing only by a 
caprice of na- 
ture. We al- 
most feared to 
speak, lest, like 
som e Alpine 
avalanche, the 
monstrous mass 
might fall and 
over^^'helm us. 
Finally, how- 
ever, Ave passed 
beneath the sec- 

SACRKD PORTAL. OHd arch ) and, 





020 ^ 

20 956 

I 12 


lo ! before us, on a shelf of rock, completely isolated from the 
outer world, and guarded by these sentinels of stone, we saw 
a sacred shrine. Even at that early hour one pilgrim was 
already here, and, as the radiance of the rising sun stole 
through the twilight of the holy grove and turned the temple 
steps to gold, unconscious of the picture he produced, he 
knelt in prayer. 

That scene can never be forgotten. An interval of cen- 
turies seemed to separate us from the Japan of Yokohama. 
No whisper of approaching change had yet penetrated these 
peaceful solitudes. No earthquake shock of doubt had sent a 
tremor through this mountain altar. The faith which chose this 
immemorial forest for its temple still reigned here supreme. 
And as we stood by this illumined portico, in which a ray of 
sunlight glittered like a sacred fire, we felt that we had 
reached the Heart of Old Japan. 


e 020 ,ii«'^f|f|« 

Hollinger Corp.